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Alphabet   /ˈælfəbˌɛt/   Listen
Alphabet

noun
1.
A character set that includes letters and is used to write a language.
2.
The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural).  Synonyms: ABC, ABC's, ABCs, first principle, first rudiment, rudiment.



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"Alphabet" Quotes from Famous Books



... sixth century. The sculptured stones of Meigle in Scotland have no runes. Runes were, as it is well known, the characters used by the Teutonic tribes of northwest Europe before they received the Latin alphabet. They are divided into three principal classes, the Anglo-Saxon, the Germanic, and the Scandinavian, bearing the same relation to each other as do the different Greek alphabets. Their likeness to each other is so great ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... der back of my neck der fingers of Bimi. Mein Gott! I tell you dot he talked through dose fingers. It was der deaf-and-dumb alphabet all gomplete. He slide his hairy arm round my neck, und he tilt up my chin und looked into my face, shust to see if I understood his talk so well as ...
— Life's Handicap • Rudyard Kipling

... to tint and gradate tenderly with the pencil point, get a good large alphabet, and try to tint the letters into shape with the pencil point. Do not outline them first, but measure their height and extreme breadth with the compasses, as a b, a c, Fig. 3, and then scratch in their shapes gradually; the letter A, inclosed within the lines, being in what Turner ...
— The Elements of Drawing - In Three Letters to Beginners • John Ruskin

... a collection much larger than I expected to see; and it is well arranged. Of the value of the Icelandic manuscripts I could not form a judgment, though the alphabet of some of them amused me, by showing what immense labour men will submit to, in order to transmit their ideas to posterity. I have sometimes thought it a great misfortune for individuals to acquire a certain delicacy of sentiment, which often makes them weary of the common ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... it was called—the master kept Chad in and asked him his name; if he had ever been to school, and whether he knew his A B C's; and he showed no surprise when Chad, without shame, told him no. So the master got Melissa's spelling-book and pointed out the first seven letters of the alphabet, and made Chad repeat them three times—watching the boy's earnest, wrinkling brow closely and with growing interest. When school "took up" again, Chad was told to say them aloud in concert with the others—which ...
— The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come • John Fox

... each circle of the alphabet absolutely blocks the preceding one, but, when the entire deal is complete, the removal of cards from the alphabet releases those on the circles beneath, ...
— Lady Cadogan's Illustrated Games of Solitaire or Patience - New Revised Edition, including American Games • Adelaide Cadogan

... wholly unexpected, and, so far as he was concerned, unprecedented occurrence. At the earnest solicitation, however, of several who happened to be present, he consented to go on with the experiment, and with the assistance of the alphabet commonly employed in similar emergencies, the following communication was obtained and written down immediately by myself. Whether any, and if so, how much weight should be attached to it, I venture no decision. That ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... that is, the Lord Christ. He claims eternity and omnipotence. He describes himself here in the very words which in the 4th verse are descriptive of the eternal subsistence of the person of the Father. "Alpha and Omega," the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, are explained in the words,—"the beginning and the ending." This language is not to be understood as expressing or defining the duration of the Godhead only; but it points also to the divine purpose ...
— Notes On The Apocalypse • David Steele

... motions to the right or left of a needle or indicator. Those of France are of the class called dial telegraphs, in which an index, or needle, is carried around the face of a dial, around the circumference of which are placed the letters of the alphabet; any particular letter being designated by the brief stopping of the needle. A similar system has been used in Prussia; but, recently, the American, or recording instrument of Professor Morse, has been introduced ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... almost boundless. The melody itself is plaintive; a plaintive grace informs the entire piece. The harmonization is far more wonderful, but to us the chord of the tenth and more remote intervals, seem no longer daring; modern composition has devilled the musical alphabet into the very caverns of the grotesque, yet there are harmonies in the last page of this study that still excite wonder. The fifteenth bar from the end is one that Richard Wagner might have made. From that bar to the close, every group ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... then! Amedee recalled the pleasant reading-lessons that the eldest of the Gerards had given him—that good Louise, so wise and serious and only ten years old, pointing out his letters to him in a picture alphabet with a knitting-needle, always so patient and kind. The child was overcome at the very first with a disgust for school, and gazed through the window which lighted the room at the noiselessly moving, large, indented leaves of the ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... that grave, the most brilliant by far was the third son, Joseph Addison Alexander. Dr. Charles Hodge said of him: "Taking him all in all, he was the most gifted man with whom I have ever been personally acquainted," In childhood, such was his precocity that he knew the Hebrew alphabet at six years of age (I am afraid that some ministers do not know it at sixty); and he could read Latin fluently when he was only eight! Of his wonderful feats of memory I could give many illustrations; one was that on the day that I was matriculated in the Seminary with fifty other students, ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... to start, as on a chace, Mid twinkling insult on Heaven's darken'd face, Like a conven'd conspiracy of spies Wink at each other with confiding eyes! Turn from the portent—all is blank on high, 5 No constellations alphabet the sky: The Heavens one large Black Letter only shew, And as a child beneath its master's blow Shrills out at once its task and its affright—[486:4] The groaning world now learns to read aright, 10 And with its Voice ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... pronunciation, the Protestants gave countenance to the new. Gardiner employed the authority of the king and council to suppress innovations in this particular, and to preserve the corrupt sound of the Greek alphabet. So little liberty was then allowed ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... was quick in its attainments; he was easily taught the common lessons of youth, and some of his peculiar endowments began early to appear. At the age of four, while recovering from some illness, he selected as his recreation the study of the Greek alphabet, and was able to name all the letters, and write them in a rude way upon a slate. A year after, he made rapid progress in the English class, and at an early period became somewhat eminent among his schoolfellows for his melodious voice ...
— The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne • Andrew A. Bonar

... alphabet contains 28 characters. These are the characters of English, but with "q", "w", "x", and "y" removed, and six diacritical letters added. The diacritical letters are "c", "g", "h", "j" and "s" with circumflexes (or "hats", as Esperantists fondly call ...
— Esperanto: Hearings before the Committee on Education • Richard Bartholdt and A. Christen

... book said that he went on a picnic with his family, and while idly carving his name on the trunk of a beech tree he conceived the idea that he might in the same way make individual letters of the alphabet on wooden blocks, ink them ...
— Paul and the Printing Press • Sara Ware Bassett

... you how Miss Anne heard Stephen read his chapter, and taught Tim and Martha, and even little Nan herself, the first few letters of the alphabet; after which she made them all repeat a verse of a hymn, and, when they could say it correctly, sang it with them over and over again, in her sweet and clear voice, until Stephen felt almost choked with a sob of pure gladness, that would every ...
— Fern's Hollow • Hesba Stretton

... it must be so designated—that we gather the real genius, or mental character of the ordinary classes of society. I do assure you that some of these chap publications are singularly droll and curious. Even the very rudiments of learning, or the mere alphabet-book, meets the eye in a very imposing manner—as in ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... the occasional use of a parlour, ever appear to come to terms with these other people who live in a rural situation remarkable for its bracing atmosphere, within five minutes' walk of the Royal Exchange. Even those letters of the alphabet who are always running away from their friends and being entreated at the tops of columns to come back, never DO come back, if we may judge from the number of times they are asked to do it and don't. It really seems,' said Tom, relinquishing the paper with a thoughtful sigh, ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... of the bar in good standing," he reminded me stiffly. "If you knew the first letter of the legal alphabet you'd know that I couldn't advise a ...
— Branded • Francis Lynde

... writing upon Confucianism and Taoism, says that the written language of China takes us back at least five thousand years. Like most things in China, the language has suffered very little change since its adoption and completion. It does not consist of words, built up of letters, as with us; it has no alphabet, no letters, but its curious symbols represent objects, qualities, ideas, or sounds, which by combination express every shade of Chinese thought. The number of these written characters is variously estimated by European philologists at from 25,000 to 50,000, although it is believed that ...
— Tea Leaves • Francis Leggett & Co.

... them, that flourished in the same early ages of the world. The first I shall produce are the lipogrammatists or letter-droppers of antiquity, that would take an exception, without any reason, against some particular letter in the alphabet, so as not to admit it once into a whole poem. One Tryphiodorus was a great master in this kind of writing. He composed an "Odyssey" or epic poem on the adventures of Ulysses, consisting of four- and-twenty books, having entirely banished the letter A from his first book, which was called ...
— Essays and Tales • Joseph Addison

... splendid weather afforded Servadac every facility for observing the heavens. Night after night, constellations in their beauty lay stretched before his eyes—an alphabet which, to his mortification, not to say his rage, he was unable to decipher. In the apparent dimensions of the fixed stars, in their distance, in their relative position with regard to each other, he could ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... silken carpets, bearing the fleur-de-lis. We sat on sofas of embroidery as fine as an engraving and as rich in color as a painting by Morland. The bright autumn sunshine illuminated the ormulu brass of the First Empire, gilt eagles, crowns, cupids, and the only letter of the alphabet ...
— With the French in France and Salonika • Richard Harding Davis

... that I could tell you something about their language. It sounds very soft and musical, but is very difficult to speak, and the characters make all one's previous knowledge of an alphabet utterly useless. We left Cronstadt on the afternoon of Wednesday, where neither was our baggage nor were we examined; indeed, half-a-dozen people might have smuggled themselves on board, and got away without difficulty. We had fine ...
— Fred Markham in Russia - The Boy Travellers in the Land of the Czar • W. H. G. Kingston

... smart. I can write, though, better'n some of the boys up at school. I saw lots of names on the shed door. See here now," and scrambling down, Ben pulled out a cherished bit of chalk and flourished off ten letters of the alphabet, one on each of the dark stone ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, January 1878, No. 3 • Various

... to Transcribe the Chinese Character, or to put their Alphabet into our Letters, because the Words would be both Unintelligible, and very hard to Pronounce; and therefore, to avoid hard Words, and Hyroglyphicks, I'll translate them as ...
— The Consolidator • Daniel Defoe

... Lecture. New Materials for the Science of Language and New Theories; Language and Reason; The Physiological Alphabet; Phonetic Change; Grimm's Law; On the Principles of Etymology; On the Powers of Roots; Metaphor; The Mythology of the Greeks; Jupiter, The Supreme Aryan God; Myths ...
— My Autobiography - A Fragment • F. Max Mueller

... fourteen branch or Sub-Post-offices, designated as "Stations," located in convenient parts of the city, north of the general office. They are named from the letters of the alphabet, and are known as "Stations A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, K, L, M, N, and O." They are designed to serve as distributing centres for certain sections of the city. They receive from the general office all letters and papers for delivery in their sections, and to ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... desk made an electronic noise at me and the words I had been arranging in my mind for the morning letters splattered into alphabet soup like a printer dropping ...
— Measure for a Loner • James Judson Harmon

... again in Florence, where, in his forty-sixth year, he took up the study of Greek, and made himself master of that literature, though, till then, he had scarcely known the Greek alphabet. The chief fruit of this study was a tragedy in the manner of Euripides, which he wrote in secret, and which he read to a company so polite that they thought it really was Euripides during the whole of the first ...
— Modern Italian Poets • W. D. Howells

... was popularly called "double A, B, C," to indicate that he had twice as many benefices as there were letters in the alphabet. He had, however, no objection to more, and was faithful to the dispensing power. The same course was pursued by Secretary Bave, Esquire Bordey, and other expectants and dependents. Viglius, always remarkable for his pusillanimity, was at this period already anxious to retire. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... five species of grain that took place under a particular king in a particular year, the story undoubtedly depicts correctly, at least in a general way, the relations subsisting in the earliest epochs of civilization. A common knowledge of agriculture, like a common knowledge of the alphabet, of war chariots, of purple, and other implements and ornaments, far more frequently warrants the inference of an ancient intercourse between nations than of their original unity. But as regards the Greeks and Italians, whose mutual relations are comparatively ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... Catechism, which, in those days, had always an alphabet as janitor to the gates of its mysteries—who, with the catechism as a consequence even dimly foreboded, would even have learned it?—and showed Gibbie the letters, naming each several times, and going over them repeatedly. Then she gave ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... the native languages with so little difficulty that "it seems a gift from heaven." Chirino gives some account of these, illustrated with specimens of three—Tagalan, Harayan, and Visayan—with the alphabet used by the Filipinos. He also praises the politeness, in word and act, of the Tagalos, and gives them credit for much musical ability. A chapter is assigned to the native alphabet and mode of writing. All, women as well ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XII, 1601-1604 • Edited by Blair and Robertson

... of learning by rote, is daily falling more into discredit. All modern authorities condemn the old mechanical way of teaching the alphabet. The multiplication table is now frequently taught experimentally. In the acquirement of languages, the grammar-school plan is being superseded by plans based on the spontaneous process followed by the child in gaining its mother tongue. ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... cause which made the fusion of the different elements of society so imperfect was the extreme difficulty which our ancestors found in passing from place to place. Of all the inventions, the alphabet and the printing press alone excepted, those inventions which abridge distance have done most for the civilization of our species. Every improvement of the means of locomotion benefits mankind morally and intellectually as well as materially, and not ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... instructive picture lesson-book for very little folk. Beginning with an illustrated alphabet of large letters, the little reader goes forward by easy stages to word-making, reading, counting, writing, and finally to the most popular nursery rhymes ...
— Condemned as a Nihilist - A Story of Escape from Siberia • George Alfred Henty

... make it. I have even heard him tell mother that he "stretched it a leetle mite," when he was forced to by people who couldn't seem to be made to understand what was required to upbuild a nation. He said our language was founded on the alphabet, and to master it you had to begin with "a". And he said the nation was like that; it was based on townships, and when a township was clean, had good roads, bridges, schoolhouses, and churches, a county was in fine shape, and when each county was in order, the state was right, ...
— Laddie • Gene Stratton Porter

... hardly explain. It must have been the intuitive grasping of a mind prematurely active and retentive. She could read music as easily as a Boston girl of her age could read the daily papers, and it did not seem to her in any sense difficult to understand the much more simple alphabet of spoken language. She had only one objection to her tutor. He helped her over the hard words and all that and was not cross but as she confided to her aunt, "he was very disagreeable—she didn't like him for he chewed—and ...
— Camilla: A Tale of a Violin - Being the Artist Life of Camilla Urso • Charles Barnard

... Has it brought him into our temple, in the spirit? No. Have we had any ignorant brothers and sisters that didn't know round O from crooked S, come in among us meanwhile? Many. Then the angels are NOT learned; then they don't so much as know their alphabet. And now, my friends and fellow-sinners, having brought it to that, perhaps some brother present - perhaps you, Brother Gimblet - will pray a ...
— George Silverman's Explanation • Charles Dickens

... sealed without an envelope, after the fashion of our great-grandfathers. On it was pasted a strip of the tape used in electric-recording instruments, and the characters were those of the Morse alphabet, rather an unusual sight nowadays, when receiving messages by sound is the universal practice. Underneath the row of dots and dashes had been written their English equivalents in Indiman's small, close handwriting. The transcribed ...
— The Gates of Chance • Van Tassel Sutphen

... notes we sing the better to distinguish them; hence the custom of sol-faing with certain syllables. To tell the keys one from another they must have names and fixed intervals; hence the names of the intervals, and also the letters of the alphabet attached to the keys of the clavier and the notes of the scale. C and A indicate fixed sounds, invariable and always rendered by the same keys; Ut and La are different. Ut is always the dominant of a major scale, or the leading-note of a minor ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... best results by the great French Orientalist, De Sacy, and by the Swede, Akerblad. But though the former by a mechanical method recognized correctly the meaning of several groups, and though Akerblad had even ascertained most of the signs of the demotic alphabet, still they were both incapable of discerning the elements of which the ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 • Various

... sleepiest letter of the alphabet?" repeated Russ. "Do you mean the letter I? That ought to be sleepy 'cause it's ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's • Laura Lee Hope

... to say that I have no specific to give as a preventive for sea-sickness. Even the Phoenicians who had time, during the intervals of their hardy voyaging, to invent the alphabet, were unable to devise a remedy for the mal de mer. Custom does not create immunity, for even the mighty Nelson, who had a life-long acquaintance with the ocean, was afflicted with sea-sickness to the end ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... another when their thoughts are expressed in writing. The cause of this may be thus explained. We in Europe form an idea in the mind, and this we express by certain sounds, which differ in different countries; these sounds are committed to writing by means of the letters of the alphabet, which are only symbols of sounds, and, consequently, a writing in Europe is unintelligible to every one who is ignorant of the spoken language in which it happens to be written. The Chinese and the other natives in these seas have, on the contrary, ...
— Account of a Voyage of Discovery - to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island • Captain Basil Hall

... not a new one to the dealer in the alphabet. He was an old depredator; and had before encountered angry authors, and artful lawyers. He was cool, collected, and unabashed. Not indeed entirely: but sufficiently ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... one of these classes is called a font, the average weight of which is about 800 pounds. Whereas our alphabet has 26 letters, the compositor must really use of letters, spaces, accent marks, and other characters in an English font 152 distinct types, and in each font there are 195,000 individual pieces. The largest number of letters ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 795, March 28, 1891 • Various

... will wrestle with you," said I. "If you should chance to put me down, I will do penance by teaching you the Armenian alphabet—the very word alphabet, as you will perceive, shows us that our letters came from Greece. If, on the other hand, I should chance to put you down, you will ...
— Danger! and Other Stories • Arthur Conan Doyle

... is based upon a distinction between "positive" and "negative" thought, which is made with an air of wonderful precision and accuracy in "the Alphabet of Human Thought."[333] "Thinking is positive when existence is predicated of an object." "Thinking is negative when existence is not attributed to an object." "Negative thinking," therefore, is not the thinking ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... in an age when people could write, people wrote down the Epic. If they applied their art to literature, then the preservation of the Epic is explained. Written first in a prae-Phoenician script, it continued to be written in the Greek adaptation of the Phoenician alphabet. There was not yet, probably, a reading public, but there were a few ...
— Homer and His Age • Andrew Lang

... lasagnes, which are the short, flat pieces one and two inches wide, cut and frequently moulded by hand, to the fideline, which are the long, thin threads, the finest of which are many times smaller than vermicelli. Between these two extremes there is a great variety, which includes the alphabet and many fancy designs. ...
— Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book - Numerous New Recipes Based on Present Economic Conditions • Mary A. Wilson

... it is a dreadful task indeed to learn, and, if possible, a more dreadful task to teach to read. With the help of counters, and coaxing, and gingerbread, or by dint of reiterated pain and terror, the names of the four-and-twenty letters of the alphabet, are, perhaps, in the course of some weeks, firmly fixed in the pupil's memory. So much the worse; all these names will disturb him, if he have common sense, and at every step must stop his progress. To begin ...
— Practical Education, Volume I • Maria Edgeworth

... shouted, jumping up from his chair. "What do you think the letter h was put in the alphabet for? For you to leave ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... six, and keeps them till they are eighteen, a period of twelve years will be passed within its walls; more than a third part of the average of human life. These children, then, are to be taken almost before they learn their alphabet, and be discharged about the time that men enter on the active business of life. At six, many do not know their alphabet. John Wesley did not know a letter till after he was six years old, and his mother then took him on her lap, and taught ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... how scrupulously a little carter-boy will deliver half-a-dozen messages, each of a different purport from the rest, to as many persons, all the messages committed to him at one and the same time, and he not knowing one letter of the alphabet from another. When I want to remember something, and am out in the field, and cannot write it down, I say to one of the men, or boys, come to me at such a time, and tell me so and so. He is sure to do it; and I therefore look upon ...
— Advice to Young Men • William Cobbett

... half a dozen persons in that room could have perceived any difference in the two readings of a thesis written in a language of which even the alphabet was unknown known to them, yet every individual among them could keenly appreciate the magnanimity of Ishmael, who would have sacrificed his scholastic fame for his friend's benefit, and the quickness and integrity of Walter in discovering the generous ruse and refusing the sacrifice. They ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... there any book available save the portuary, crookedly and contractedly written on vellum, so as to be illegible to anyone unfamiliar with writing, with Latin, or the service. However, the anchoret yielded to his importunity so far as to let him learn the alphabet, traced on the door in charcoal, and identify the more sacred words in the book—which, indeed, were all ...
— The Herd Boy and His Hermit • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in this respect, and learn that the knowledge of books is only the beginning of wisdom, and that the true knowledge must include also that of the living book,—the student entrusted to our care,—we have scarcely learned the alphabet of true education. ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 21, August, 1891 • Various

... On the Simplification of Oriental Languages, 1795. The European Alphabet Applied to the Languages of ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... it vexes, That thus on our labors stern CHRONOS should frown Should change our soft liquids to izzards and Xes, And turn true-love's alphabet all upside down! ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... came off, the stag beetles were so erratic that no prize was awarded, and they immediately ceased to be the rage. The rage for stag beetles was succeeded by a rage for secret alphabets. One boy invented a secret alphabet made of simple hieroglyphics, which was imparted only to a select few, who spent their spare time in corresponding with each other by these cryptic signs. The boy who gave good advice was not of those ...
— Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches • Maurice Baring

... stored with knowledge and full of original power. Through reading, lecturing, and experimenting, he had become thoroughly familiar with electrical science: he saw where light was needed and expansion possible. The phenomena of ordinary electric induction belonged, as it were, to the alphabet of his knowledge: he knew that under ordinary circumstances the presence of an electrified body was sufficient to excite, by induction, an unelectrified body. He knew that the wire which carried an electric current was an electrified body, and still that all attempts ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - Invention and Discovery • Various

... the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, it was observable in the picture, and observed in the text, that his face had an oriental cast. The same, we may recall, was said of that of the Seeress of Prevorst, and the circumstance presents ...
— Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 • S.M. Fuller

... justification of his policy in executing the criminals, said that he "discovered some curious characters which he was unable to read," &c.; showing thereby, that that high functionary, did not understand even the Greek Alphabet, which was only necessary, to have been able to read proper names written ...
— The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States • Martin R. Delany

... And the sub-prefect at Ville-aux-Fayes,—doesn't monsieur know him? though he be a Parisian, he's a fine young man like you, and he loves curiosities,—so, as I was saying, hearing of my talent for catching otters, for I know 'em as you know your alphabet, he says to me like this: 'Pere Fourchon,' says he, 'when you find an otter bring it to me, and I'll pay you well; and if it's spotted white on the back,' says he, 'I'll give you thirty francs.' That's just what he did say to me as true as I believe in God the Father, ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... know His A, B, C, As bees where flowers are set: Would'st thou a skilful teacher be?— Learn, then, this alphabet. ...
— Poems • Sam G. Goodrich

... duty in hundreds of places before. Some of them had even appeared in the almanac! But in Banbury they were all new, and so funny that everybody laughed till their sides ached. And the wonderful horses! Madame Orley's educated steed, which picked out letters from a card alphabet and spelled words with them, went through the military drill with the precision of a trooper, and waltzed about the arena with his mistress on his back!—well, he was not a horse; he was a wizard steed, like the one described in the "Arabian Nights Tales." Alice almost thought ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... unwholesome. So I shall prescribe Rudolph's company for myself, to ward off an attack of moral indigestion. I am very glad he has come back—really glad," she added, conscientiously. "Poor old Rudolph! what between his interminable antiquities and those demented sections of the alphabet—What are those things, mon ami, that are always going up and down in ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... statued galleries, l. 176. The art of painting has appeared in the early state of all societies before the invention of the alphabet. Thus when the Spanish adventurers, under Cortez, invaded America, intelligence of their debarkation and movements was daily transmitted to Montezuma, by drawings, which corresponded with the Egyptian ...
— The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society - A Poem, with Philosophical Notes • Erasmus Darwin

... language. The question as to the origin of the earliest written characters employed in Japan is one that has produced, and probably will continue to produce, much controversy. These are known as Shinji letters of the God Age, but they have left no traces in the existing alphabet. There is a remarkable difference between the written and spoken dialects of Japan. The grammars of the two are entirely different, and it is possible to speak the language colloquially and yet not be able to read a newspaper, book, or letter; while, on the other hand, it is possible ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... name, Sanch," and Ben put all the gay letters down upon the flags with a chirrup which set the dog's tail to wagging as he waited till the alphabet was spread before him. Then with great deliberation he pushed the letters about till he had picked out six; these he arranged with nose and paw till the word "Sancho" lay before him ...
— St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 5, March, 1878 • Various

... dinner when hungry. "Common-sense business-habits"—his favorite phrase—he believed to be quite sufficient for the elucidation of the most difficult question in law, physic, or divinity. The science of law, especially, he held to be an alphabet which any man—of common sense and business habits—could as easily master as he could count five on his fingers; and there was no end to his ridicule of the men with horse-hair head-dresses, and their quirks, quiddits, cases, tenures, and such-like devil's lingo. Lawyers, according to ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... agreeably. Someone has said, very wisely, "A talker who monopolizes the conversation is by common consent insufferable, and a man who regulates his choice of topics by reference to what interests not his hearers but himself has yet to learn the alphabet of the art." To be agreeable in conversation, one must first learn the law of talking just enough, of listening politely while others speak, and of speaking of that in which one's ...
— Book of Etiquette • Lillian Eichler

... air, and did not put me to school until I had turned my sixth year. One day, playing in the shoemaker's shop, William Farrel asked me if I knew my letters. I answered 'No.' He then took down a primer from a shelf, and began to teach me the alphabet, at the same time amusing me by likening the letters to familiar objects in his shop. I soon learned to read, and in about six weeks I surprised my father by reading from an easy book which the ...
— Men of Invention and Industry • Samuel Smiles

... holds that, owing to the monosyllabic character of the Chinese language and to the further disadvantage that it lacks wholly or partly several consonants,[43] it will be practically impossible, as the Japanese have already found, to apply the new alphabet to the traditional literary idiom. Neither can it be employed for the needs of education, journalism, of the administration, or for telegraphing. It will, however, be of great value for elementary instruction and for postal correspondence. It ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... which meet you everywhere are very touching. Go from bed to bed, and you see in their hands primers, spelling-books, and Bibles, and the poor, worn, sick creatures, the moment they feel one throb of returning health, striving to master their alphabet or spell out their Bible. In the evening, or rather in the fading twilight, some two hundred of them crept from the wards, and seated themselves in a circle around a black exhorter. Religion to them was a real thing; and so their worship had the beauty of sincerity, while I ought to add that ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 88, February, 1865 • Various

... Cadmus introduced into Greece the letters of the alphabet which were invented by the Phoenicians. This is alluded to by Byron, where, addressing ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... may state that, within these few years, after the lapse of nearly fifty, I had a call from a respectable old man, who, having heard I was in Edinburgh, had found me out, and announced himself to be Mr. ——, who had taught me the alphabet, and first guided my hand to wield the pen which now records this incident. I have rarely met with an occurrence more gratifying to my feelings, than when the old gentleman (for he was a gentleman in the best sense of ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume VI • Various

... I had expected, for though I thought her looks very terrible at first—and she was certainly firm—she was really kind and gentle. Under her instruction I gained the first knowledge of the letters of the alphabet, of which I was before profoundly ignorant. Of course she was very gentle with Ellen, as everybody was, and Fanny seemed to be very fond of her. She was courageous, too, as I before long had evidence. I remember one night being suddenly lifted in her arms, and carried out by her into the ...
— On the Banks of the Amazon • W.H.G. Kingston

... delicious," he answered her, speaking more lightly than he felt. "What a numskull you make, Grizel, of any man who presumes to write about women! I am at school again, and you are Miss Ailie teaching me the alphabet. But I thought you lost that serious little girl on the doleful day when she heard you say that you ...
— Tommy and Grizel • J.M. Barrie

... echoed the lawyer. "Why, my miserable dreams have never been free from the horror of that man's face. You don't know what it is—murder! Nobody knows who hasn't been concerned in it. You read of murders in your newspapers. A shot B, or C poisoned D, and so on, all through the letters of the alphabet, with a fresh batch for every Sunday; but it never comes home to you. You think of the horror of it in a shadowy kind of way, as you might think of having a snake twisted round your waist and legs, like that ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... adulteration of valuable compounds; the photographer recorded the exact action of the trotting horse; the telephone might convey orders from one end of an estate to the other; and thus you might go through the whole alphabet, the whole cyclopaedia of science, and apply every single ...
— Hodge and His Masters • Richard Jefferies

... smart," said she; "he knows his alphabet already, and we are going to put him to school. If he takes after his father he will be ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... childhood, what a void it makes in the growing heart; and how quietly its place is filled by unworthier influences. Does all the abstract wealth, which there might be in the growth and development of those who learn the alphabet of life upon our knee, take one pang from the natural and pardonable sorrow with which we watch the heavy footprint of an inevitable experience, crushing out the last frail remnant of childhood ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... I do not understand the deaf and dumb alphabet. I'm sorry, but you'll have to go to some one else. I'm very unfortunate. I have to mend this dress and ...
— The Chief Legatee • Anna Katharine Green

... young; the one is true of the weak, and the other of the robust. One thing is certain, that he who loves wisely in youth will in age not go astray. But derision is for those of mature age, into whose hands Love puts the alphabet. ...
— The Heroic Enthusiasts,(1 of 2) (Gli Eroici Furori) - An Ethical Poem • Giordano Bruno

... any bid you stop or stay, or turn your feet from out your way, say but the word that is spelled with the fourteenth and fifteenth letters of the alphabet three times in a loud voice, and all will go well with ...
— The Story-teller • Maud Lindsay

... unevangelized community, the people move on a lower level. Not only social condition, but morality and education, feel the want of the elevating influence of the gospel. A seminary that commences operations by teaching the alphabet must advance far, and climb high, before its graduates will stand on a level with those whose pupils were familiar with elementary algebra when they entered; yet its course of study may be the best to secure the usefulness ...
— Woman And Her Saviour In Persia • A Returned Missionary

... raising his eyebrows as she entered the room, 'here's our little monitor—(or is it monitress, eh, Priscilla?)—back again. Children, we shall all have to mind our p's and q's—and, indeed, our entire alphabet, now!' ...
— The Talking Horse - And Other Tales • F. Anstey

... flew over the road and the hills, and Pellicanus cried: "Look there! They always fly in two straight lines, and form a letter of the alphabet. This time it is an A. Can you see it? When the Lord was writing the laws on the tablets, a flock of wild geese flew across Mt. Sinai, and in doing so, one effaced a letter with its wing. Since that time, they always fly in the shape of a letter, and their whole race, that is, all ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... feared she would not avail herself of it. Indeed, I feared that she was daily becoming more alienated from him, as she pursued onward and upward the bright mental track on which she had entered. And it was seeing that she had not yet begun to con the alphabet of true knowledge, that disturbed me most. If I could have seen her thoughtful for others, humble in her endeavor after duty, I should have hailed, rejoicingly, her intellectual illumination. As it was, I could not help saying to her, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 73, November, 1863 • Various

... out of their context, more significant than actions without a background. They are mental phenomena to be observed and described by the psychologist; to the moralist they are, taken alone, as unmeaning as the letters of the alphabet, but, like them, capable in combination of carrying many meanings. Anger, fear, wonder, and all the rest are, as natural emotions, neither good nor bad; they are colors, which may enter into a picture and in it acquire ...
— A Handbook of Ethical Theory • George Stuart Fullerton

... striking analogy between the letters of our alphabet and their relation to the language of the vast volume of printed books, and the eighty or more primary elements and their relation to the vast universe of material things. The analogy may not be in all respects a strictly true one, but it is an illuminating one. Our twenty-six letters combined and ...
— The Breath of Life • John Burroughs

... flirted and dined and sang the night away. Robert Tomes echoed the strain in his tale of college life a little later, under stricter social and ecclesiastical conditions. There was a more serious vein also. In 1827 the Kappa Alpha Society was the first of the younger brood of the Greek alphabet—descendants of the Phi Beta Kappa of 1781—and in 1832 Father Eells, as he is affectionately called, founded Alpha Delta Phi, a brotherhood based upon other aims and sympathies than those of Mr. Philip Slingsby, but one which appealed instantly to clever men in college, and has not ceased ...
— Ars Recte Vivende - Being Essays Contributed to "The Easy Chair" • George William Curtis

... in the world, the Cockney has the queerest notions about vegetable nature. Show him the first letter of the alphabet, for instance, and ...
— Punchinello, Vol. II., Issue 31, October 29, 1870 • Various

... Purple Dragoon to worry through to-day any the quicker. Poor, brave, noble, drawling, manly, pipe-smoking fellows! On this particular occasion FOOTLES uttered only one word. It was short, and began with the fourth letter of the alphabet. But he may be pardoned, for some of the glowing embers from his magnificent briar-wood pipe had dropped on to his regulation overalls. The result was painful—to FOOTLES. All the others laughed as well as they could, with clays, meerschaums, briars, ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., November 8, 1890 • Various

... and delf to sell! He clashes the basins like a bell; Tea-trays, baskets ranged in order, Plates with the alphabet ...
— The Posy Ring - A Book of Verse for Children • Various

... knew everybody intimately—by sight. She was squat, dyed, rouged and penciled, badly, too. She was written down in the city directory as Madame de Chevreuse, but she was emphatically not of French extraction. In her alphabet there were generally but twenty-five letters; there were frequent times when she had no idea that there existed such a letter as "g." How she came to appropriate so distinguished a name as De Chevreuse ...
— Half a Rogue • Harold MacGrath

... perfect a poem as Homer's "Iliad" was not the product of the genius of a great poet, but that the letters of the alphabet, being confusedly jumbled and mixed, were by chance, as it were by the cast of a pair of dice, brought together in such an order as is necessary to describe, in verses full of harmony and variety, ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... Gerbeaux, who was allowed to go out foraging, under escort of a guard, has returned with a rope of dried onions; a can of alphabet noodles; half a pound of stale, crumbly macaroons; a few fresh string beans; a pot of strained honey, and several clean collars of assorted sizes. The woman of the-house is now making soup for us out of the beans, the onions and the ...
— Paths of Glory - Impressions of War Written At and Near the Front • Irvin S. Cobb

... foreign origin—Greek or Ph[oe]nician. This nothing but the most inconsiderate and uncritical patriotism can deny. Denied, however, it has been; and the indigenous and independent evolution of an alphabet has been claimed; the particular tribe to which it has more especially been ascribed being the Turdetani. These—and the passage I am about to quote is the passage of Strabo just alluded to—are "put forward as the wisest of the Iberi, ...
— The Ethnology of the British Colonies and Dependencies • Robert Gordon Latham

... 26. p. 415.)—I do not think that "M. or N." are used as the initials of any particular words; they are the middle letters of the alphabet, and, at the time the Prayer Book was compiled, it seems to have been the fashion to employ them in the way in which we now use the first two. There are only two offices, the Catechism and the Solemnisation of Matrimony, in which more than one letter is used. In ...
— Notes & Queries No. 29, Saturday, May 18, 1850 • Various

... stick to the familiar devil rather than fly to unknown gods, is in itself sufficient to account for those lapses in mass-achievement and those long periods of stagnation which mark the course of mankind everywhere. We see how Egypt hovered for centuries on the brink of the discovery of the alphabet but never attained thereto. The exponents of the so-called "pulsatory hypothesis" can hardly claim that a change in the climate will explain the fact seeing that the neighbouring people were able to accomplish this great feat under very similar climatic ...
— The Black Man's Place in South Africa • Peter Nielsen

... father, ministering to his habits and tastes, a good deal, I believe, for our sakes, and to keep near us. She was a coarse woman; and, unlike her race in general, exhibited but few outward demonstrations of attachment. When her work was done in the evening she sometimes taught us the alphabet and to spell words of three letters; the rest we mastered for ourselves, and taught each other, and so in process of time we were able to read. The like with writing: Nelly pointed out the rudiments, and Gabrielle, endowed with magical powers of swift perception, speedily ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... to the second symbol in the Phoenician alphabet, and appears in the same position in all the European alphabets, except those derived, like the Russian, from medieval Greek, in which the pronunciation of this symbol had changed from b to v. A new form had therefore to be invented for the ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... and consecrated by order of Constantine the Great, had been labouring for years to convert his adopted countrymen from the worship of Thor and Woden. He had translated the Bible for them, and had constructed a Gothic alphabet for that purpose. He had omitted, however (prudently as he considered) the books of Kings, with their histories of the Jewish wars. The Goths, he held, were only too fond of fighting already, and 'needed in that matter the bit, rather than the spur.' He had now a large number of converts, ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... tripled now. Read my letter once and again. Preserve it as a sacred deposit. Lay it under your pillow. Meditate upon it fasting. Commit it to memory, and repeat the scattered parcels of it, as Caesar is said to have done the Greek alphabet, to cool your rising choler. Be this the amulet to preserve you from danger! Be this the chart by which to steer the little skiff of your political system safe into the port ...
— Four Early Pamphlets • William Godwin

... the manufacturing, engrossed activity of the town. She was happy. Up here, in the Grammar School, she fancied the air was finer, beyond the factory smoke. She wanted to learn Latin and Greek and French and mathematics. She trembled like a postulant when she wrote the Greek alphabet for ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... consecrated his own Church of St. Peter, Westminster. When the king and Bishop Mellitus arrived next day, Edric told his story, and pointed out the marks of the twelve crosses on the church, the walls within and without moistened with holy water, the letters of the Greek alphabet written twice over distinctly on the sand, the traces of the oil, and even the droppings of the angelic candles. The bishop could not presume to add any further ceremonial, ...
— Little Folks (July 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... Brick, Cheddar and Swiss. To attempt to classify and describe all of these would be impossible, so we will content ourselves by picking a few of the cold and hot, the plain and the fancy, the familiar and the exotic. Let's use the alphabet ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... inflorescence, at certain periods, as do plants and trees; and some races flower later than others. This architecture was the first flowering of the Gothic race; they had no Homers; the flame found vent not by imaged words and vitalized alphabet; they vitalized stone, and their poets were ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume V (of X) • Various

... but you may Guess who I mean. When are you coming home, Betty? I want so to see your dear face. My Respects to Gulian and Clarissa, and Obedience to Grandma—I do not Recollect her whole Name. My Sampler is more perfectly Evil than ever, but I have completed the Alphabet and I danced on it, which Miss Bidwell said was Outrageous naughty, but my temper Felt calmed afterward. It has taken four Days to write this, farewell, from your lonesome ...
— An Unwilling Maid • Jeanie Gould Lincoln

... of her own subconscious self," said the Tracer quietly. "Science has been forced to admit such things, and, as you know, we are on the verge of understanding the alphabet of some of the unknown forces which we must some day ...
— The Tracer of Lost Persons • Robert W. Chambers

... sarcophagi with their winged genii, their garlands and bucranes, and porphyry tazzas, the fragments of Roman mosaic and Pompeian fresco-painting, roused Odo's curiosity as if they had been the scattered letters of a new alphabet; and he saw with astonishment his friend Vittorio's indifference to these wonders. Count Benedetto, it was clear, was resigned to his nephew's lack of interest. The old man doubtless knew that he represented to ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... Divine activity as regards us men is not merely to make us happy, but to make us happy in order that we may be good. He whom what he calls his religion has only saved from the wrath of God and the fear of hell has not learned the alphabet of religion. Unless God's promises evoke men's goodness it will be of little avail that they seem to quicken their hope. Joyful confidence in our sonship is only warranted in the measure in which we ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... if he will sacrifice to Cybele or Isis, he will be pardoned—if not, the tiger has him. At least, so I suppose; but the trial will decide. We talk while the urn's still empty. And the Greek may yet escape the deadly Theta of his own alphabet. But enough of this gloomy subject. How is ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... be easily pronounced correctly by using the Spanish alphabet. There are no silent letters, and ...
— Legends of Wailuku • Charlotte Hapai

... our efforts as only a part of a play, and his interest merely the interest of a looker-on." There was an indignant rasp in Roger's voice, and he looked across to his father with a protesting scowl. "He almost made me feel as if I had never learned the alphabet." ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... The Banquet of the Ten Virgins, the hymn is found from which the following is a cento. It contains twenty-four strophes, each beginning with a letter of the Greek alphabet in alphabetical order, and ending with the ...
— Hymns of the Greek Church - Translated with Introduction and Notes • John Brownlie

... divided into small half-inch squares which we consider as the unit. Thus there is in any cross-section 1 unit between the two central lines and 4 units on either side. Lengthwise there are 26 units. The 26 squares which lie between the two heavy central lines are marked with the printed letters of the alphabet from A to Z. These two heavy central lines are to represent an electric railway track on a street. On either side the 4 rows of squares are filled in an irregular way with black and red figures of the three first digits. ...
— Psychology and Industrial Efficiency • Hugo Muensterberg

... roofs. Farther along were the railway tracks that Yates objected to; and a line of masts and propeller funnels marked the windings of Buffalo Creek, along whose banks arose numerous huge elevators, each marked by some tremendous letter of the alphabet, done in white paint against the somber brown of the big building. Still farther to the west was a more grateful and comforting sight for a hot day. The blue lake, dotted with white sails and an occasional trail of smoke, lay shimmering ...
— In the Midst of Alarms • Robert Barr

... over a ferry-boat into the icy East River. There is an averted strangulation of a baby and for the second time in a Saltus opus a dying millionaire leaves his fortune to the St. Nicholas Hospital. Was Saltus ballyhooing for this institution? The hero is a modern Don Juan. Alphabet Jones appears occasionally, as he does in many of the other novels. This Balzacian trick obsessed the author for a time. The book is dedicated to John S. Rutherford and bears as a motto on its title page this quotation ...
— The Merry-Go-Round • Carl Van Vechten

... used in their Empire, the Uighur, the Persian and Arabic, that of the Lamas (Tibetan), that of the Niuche, introduced by the Kin Dynasty, the Khitan, and the Bashpah character, a syllabic alphabet arranged, on the basis of the Tibetan and Sanskrit letters chiefly, by a learned chief Lama so-called, under the orders of Kublai, and established by edict in 1269 as the official character. Coins bearing this character, and dating from 1308 to 1354, are extant. The forms ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... the age of fifteen, was little better than a young savage. He had never gone to school, he had never seen a book. But one day, he heard a man reading aloud, and the wonder of it quickened a new purpose within him. He induced a friend to teach him the alphabet, and then, borrowing the book, he laboriously taught himself to read. So there was something more than "poor white" in him, ...
— American Men of Action • Burton E. Stevenson

... been studying a book just published, entitled, Stenographic Sound-Hand and had learned its alphabet and practised the use of it. That evening I took down the remarks ...
— The Light in the Clearing • Irving Bacheller

... was said that "a sign was made," we are to understand by it that the action was performed by her teacher, she feeling of his hands, and then imitating the motion. The next step in the process of her instruction was to procure a set of metal types, with the different letters of the alphabet cast upon their ends; also a board, in which were square holes, into which she could set the types so that the letters on the end could alone be felt above the surface. Then, on any article being handed to her whose name she had learned—a ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... islander, Palamedes, son of Nauplius, or Simonides, whom some authorities credit with the measure—were not satisfied with determining merely our order of precedence in the alphabet; they also had an eye to our individual qualities and faculties. You, Vowels of the jury, constitute the first Estate, because you can be uttered independently; the semi-vowels, requiring support before they ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata



Words linked to "Alphabet" :   plural form, plural, fundamental principle, basics, Cyrillic, basic principle, character set, fundamentals, Hebrew script, Armenian, script, bedrock, letter



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